Jose J. Gonzalez

Date of Birth

June 8, 1923

Date of Death

February 28, 2021

Angels are dancing a polka in heaven to the sounds of Dad playing his harmonica. Jose Jesus Gonzalez passed away peacefully at the age of 97 at home on Sunday, February 28, 2021 surrounded by his family.

Jesus was born in Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico a town famous for expert Charro horsemanship and competition. He was a champion rider, lover of horses, cars, and charmer of señoritas. He was handsome, strong, brave, and respected by all. World War II brought him to this country through the Bracero program where after working on the Pennsylvania Railroad he settled in El Paso, Texas. There in 1957 he met and married the love of his life, Tola Villalobos. He worked and lived on a dairy farm before deciding to relocate with Tola and their two small daughters to California.

On the drive to San Jose, they stopped to visit the Limon cousins in Santa Barbara. The City was brightly dressed for Christmas that December of 1960. State Street was lined with giant Christmas trees down the middle of the street, and they decided right there and then that this would be their home. They would welcome one more daughter and two sons in their long marriage of 63 years. Jose worked as a driver for the City Sanitation Service/BFI where he was recognized for his outstanding driving skills and hard work. He left to start a landscaping business which he turned over to his two sons upon retiring at age 63.

He is preceded in death by his daughter-in-law Annette Gonzalez and daughter Ofelia Torres (Rafael). And survived by two more daughters from a prior marriage Maria Placencia (Moises) and Alicia Rios (Jose), His loving wife Tola Gonzalez, Daughters, Icela Gonzalez, Olivia Rodriguez (Jim), Irma Sevilla (Ed), and sons Arturo Gonzalez (Annette) and Jesus Gonzalez Jr. (Yolanda). He is also survived by his brother Refugio (Aurora) and 26 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. And, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and compadres. He was devoted to work, church, and his very large and boisterous family. Jesus was a true patriarch. He will be terribly missed by us all.

The family is grateful for the outstanding care and attention provided by Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) Hospice. With special thanks to Alex Velasquez for becoming Dad’s very good amigo. The family will hold an outdoor mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church on March 15, at 10:00 A.M. 2021 with interment to follow at Calvary Cemetery. Due to COVID restrictions, immediate family will gather privately thereafter with hopes of a “gran fiesta” celebration of life when conditions allow.


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